BY CASEY LEYDON
I am writing this to you from Saint Augustine, Florida, the oldest continually European occupied city in the United States of America. My name is Casey Leydon, and this is my hometown. It is also the hometown of the Timucua, the indigenous people of this area. For more than 900 years, the Timucua lived here in peace. Seloy was the name of the Timucua Village, until the arrival of Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles on September 8, 1565. The City of Saint Augustine is underway with its celebration of its 450th Anniversary. Their organization is called “St. Augustine 450th Commemoration. They are planning two years of events to celebrate “The Story of Us”, all leading up to the arrival , and honoring, of the current King and Queen of Spain.
The City of Saint Augustine is home to the Castillo de San Marcos National Monument, the oldest functioning fort in the United States. The Spanish invaders’ and occupiers built the Castillo on Sacred Land of the Timucua, and forced the men of the Timucua to quarry the stone, transport the stone, and build the Castillo. They forced them by holding Timucua children in a pen in the town plaza, and would feed a child a day to their Spanish war dogs if the men did not work. They worked the Timucua to death building the Castillo. That is why you have not heard of any living full blood Timucua. The Castillo is the only memorial left of the presence of the Timucua in Saint Augustine.